108. Physician Moral Injury: Healing the Healer

TRIGGER WARNING: Please note that this episode contains a discussion of suicide, self-injurious behavior, depression and/or reference of other mental health disorders that may act as triggers.

When Dr. Kemia Sarraf’s 13-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, her world — at least for the next three years — came to a full stop. And as he regained his health—which, by the way, he’s great now—it led her down a path that would ultimately become her life’s work. In this episode, she discusses with Dr. Gaggino, the trauma she experienced that inspired her to develop a special trauma-responsive coaching paradigm that is especially well-suited for frontline workers who are exposed to chronic toxic stress and who are therefore directly affected by the numerous ways that vicarious and secondary trauma “show up” in everyday life. Dr. K established Lodestar in 2016 with a focus on coaching techniques that are trauma-responsive for medical colleagues who are suffering from severe burnout, vicarious trauma, and moral injury.

 

 

[00:30 – 11:15] Opening Segment

  • Dr. Gaggino introduces us to Dr. Kemia Sarraf
  • How her son’s illness started her on the path of helping other medical professionals
  • The discovery of the common thread: Trauma among medical professionals

[11:16 – 16:00]  Being mindful about building a “Trauma Informed” practice

  • People who are in intense pain and want to be coached toward something
  • The client holds the outcome
  • The concept: we all carry wounds
  • Unbearable “Stuckitude”

[16:01 – 38:28] The impact of chronic, toxic stress

  • Both Dr. K and Dr. Gaggino talk about what they experienced during the early days of the pandemic 
  • How children of different ages handle stress 
  • An underutilized tool: curiosity 
  • The shift from “how do we take care of our patience” to “how do we take care of ourselves”
  • “We are hemorrhaging colleagues”

[38:30 -41:44] The factors that move us toward Trauma

  • The unrelenting nature of trauma itself
  • Lack of rest and recreation
  • Real or perceived loss of control
  • Lack of resources (emotionally as well as physically)
  • Loneliness (disconnection)
  • The toxic story of “I’m the only one”
 

[41:45 -52:45] So…. What’s the way out?

  • Actively connect with others
  • There’s power in naming and sharing
  • The asking is therapeutic 
  • Self-Compassion
  • It’s ok to ask… “are you having thoughts of hurting yourself”
 

[52:46 – 58:15]  Closing segment and Takeaways

 

**For More episodes on Suicide Awareness**

Listen as Dr. Gaggino interviews her own sister (Ep105)

 

Website

 

social media links

Twitter:  @DrKemia

 
 

www.lodestarpc.com

Bessel VanDer Kolk – The Body Keeps the Score

 

Lodestar trainings:   Trauma-Mitigation Master Classes for 2023 have just opened.

Trauma-Responsive Physician Leadership Workshop  in San Antonio on Sunday November 6th

 
 

Resources:

Physician’s Crisis line

888-491-0141

 

988lifeline.org

1-800-273-TALK or 8255

Crisis text HOME to 741741

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

www.Afsp.org for Out of the Darkness walks and national locations in your community

#BeThe1

 

Other episodes mentioned

“Hope and Resilience: My Sister’s Story”

 

Key quotes for Twitter:

“Your brokenness does not diminish your brilliance Your shadows do not extinguish your light Your pain is not pathology…It is Path”    Dr. Kemia Sarraf, MD

 

“We sometimes talk about the “5 Ns”: NOTICE, NAME, NORMALIZE, NAVIGATE/CO-NAVIGATE , NURTURE. Dr. Kemia Sarraf, MD Talking about Physician Suicide on Ep 108 of the Pediatric Meltdown

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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If you’d like to connect with me, you can find me on LinkedInFacebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or email me at [email protected] or [email protected]. To learn more about me visit https://www.medicalbhs.com/

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Dr Lia Gaggino

Dr Lia Gaggino Host of the Pediatric Meltdown Podcast

Dr. Lia Gaggino has worked as a pediatrician for over 30 years on the west side of Michigan. During her career as a primary care physician, she has been privileged to care for children and adolescents, and know that their success is closely tied to mental wellness.

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Dr. Lia Gaggino has worked as a pediatrician for over 30 years on the west side of Michigan. During her career as a primary care physician, she has been privileged to care for children and adolescents, and know that their success is closely tied to mental wellness.

Recent Episodes

  • All Post
  • ADHD
  • Advocacy
  • Aggression and Disruptive Behaviors
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Genetics
  • healthcare disparities and inequalities
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Mental Health
  • Other
  • Pain
  • Parent/child
  • Physician Well-Being
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep
  • Social Media
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Trauma

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